every misstep is a precursor to deep-seated, permanent, life-long psychological struggle. and yet, at the moment i am rather amazed and impressed with how well i am doing, at how well i am managing to keep two children alive and fed and my temper from exploding even at some most precarious moments. aleksander's birthday cake was carob sweetened with homegrown honey after all, right? i feel guilt and the inevitable and painful self-scrutiny as well, but it is more general, less localized, less like a knife to the chest than at other times. there is a driving urge to always do better, and i don't suppose that it is a bad thing as long as it is not completely overwhelming. i took a moment recently while mulling over more of alfie kohn's unconditional parenting to realize that really i do alot of the things i aspire to already. i guess i just don't give myself a whole heck of alot of credit. i always have a tendency to want more or want to do more. i must be a glutton for punishment or something. the other day i was realizing how i had managed to pull off so much recently and that i did it well and without too much stress and of course with a little help from my husband and then i started thinking, what else can i add to this? what else can i do? and i stepped outside myself for a second and realized that to add to it would make me a little like the cat in the hat balancing on the ball with two books, a fish, a rake, a cake, a teapot, and waving a fan with my tail - and that while i might be able to do all that and not fall for a bit, adding to it isn't always necessarily a good idea. eventually something will fall. and knowing my luck, it will weigh eight tons and fall from the sky.